There is currently a bill being developed in the Ways & Means committee of the Georgia legislature that would repeal the sales tax on school music instruments! While it would not have an effect on instruments purchased by schools, systems or booster programs (they typically are tax-exempt) this would be a substantial help to students and parents who are considering purchasing an instrument – especially those looking to upgrade from their current instrument!
The text of the bill essentially provides an exemption from sales and use tax on school musical instruments for a “limited period of time”. You can read the full text of House Bill 293 at http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HB/293
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Start by raising awareness with your students – they are likely at an age where they can understand and appreciate the impact of this bill. They will in turn talk to their parents about it which will help to “spread the word”.
- Include a link to this article in your emails to parents, students and even other faculty members at your school. Musicians are not the only supporters of music in our schools!
- Consider adding a link to this article in your email signature
- MOST CRITICAL – If you have a music booster program at your school ask a member to organize an email / letter campaign to your local representatives. This bill will develop in committee and in order to gain the support it needs the legislature must hear our voice!
- If you have an orchestra program at your school be sure the faculty and students know about this – it affects them as well!
- Use Social Media! In 2015 nothing is more effective than Facebook and Twitter to get the word out about an issue. Please spread this article on Facebook and use Twitter to tag your representatives – most of them will have an account.
If you don’t know who your house and senate representatives are:
Visit http://openstates.org/ga/legislators/ for a list of Georgia Senators and Representatives. On the right side of the page you will also find a box to enter your address – this will tell you exactly who your representatives are as well as how to contact them by phone, email, or mail.
This revolutionary bill could have a profound impact on our music students, programs and local retailers! Please help get the word out!